Creative Team

The Creative Team behind Yellow Face

Writer: David Henry Hwang

Director: Alex Sims

Designer: Lily Arnold

Lighting Designer: Joshua Carr

Sound Designer: Isobel Waller-Bridge

Casting Director: Annie Rowe

David Henry Hwang was awarded the 1988 Tony©, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and John Gassner Awards for his Broadway debut, M. Butterfly, which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.  His play, Golden Child, which premiered at South Coast Repertory, received a 1998 Tony© nomination and a 1997 OBIE Award.

His new book, for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, earned him his third Tony© nomination in 2003.  Yellow Face, won a 2008 OBIE Award for Playwriting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent work, Chinglish, won a 2011 Chicago Jeff Award before moving to Broadway, where it received a 2012 Drama Desk Nomination.

Other plays include FOB (1981 OBIE Award), The Dance And The Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Nomination), The Sound of a Voice and Bondage.

He co-authored the book for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, which ran almost five years on Broadway, and was the bookwriter of Disney’s Tarzan, with songs by Phil Collins.

As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four works with composer Philip Glass, as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Bright Sheng’s The Silver River (1997), and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (2007 “World Premiere of the Year” by Opernwelt Magazine).

Hwang penned the feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate, and Possession (co-writer), and co-wrote the song Solo with composer/performer Prince.  He won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre and the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.

A 2013 US Artists Donnelly Fellow, he is currently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre, which is producing a season of his plays in 2012-13, including the premiere of his newest work, Kung Fu.

Alex Sims is currently Associate Director of “War Horse” at the New London Theatre and was previously with the production in Toronto.  His production of The Promise, as part of the Donmar’s final season at the Trafalgar Studios promoting the work of up-and-coming Directors, received several four star reviews from national newspapers and The Independent said: “Alex Sims … certainly seizes his chance with both hands and comes up with a cracking account of this triangular friendship between two men and a girl across two decades in Leningrad.”

He was a Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse and worked with, amongst others, Michael Grandage, Douglas Hodge and Charlotte Westenra.

He has been an assistant director at the RSC, the Young Vic and the Almeida theatres, working with Rufus Norris, Marianne Elliot and Josie Rourke, among others.

Seen as “one to watch,” Alex is building a strong reputation for getting wonderful performances from his actors.  This is particularly relevant with regard to our aims of building experience and role models for East Asian performers.  Yellow Face is a director’s dream in this respect, as many of the cast will be playing multiple roles across gender and race.  As this will be his third solo directorial effort, Yellow Face will provide an ideal outlet to express his vision through a challenging piece with high industry visibility.

Lily Arnold trained at Wimbledon College of Art graduating with first class honors in 2007.  Theatre and opera productions include: Gruesome Playground Injuries (Gate Theatre), King Lear (RSC Touring), The Rape Of Lucrece (RSC Royal Lyceum Theatre), I Cinna (the poet) (RSC Swan Theatre), The Plough and The Stars (Associate, Abbey Theatre, Dublin and touring), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Cambridge Arts Theatre), The Taming Of the Shrew (RSC Swan Theatre), Ahasverus (RSC Hampstead Theatre Downstairs), The Bullet (RSC, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs), Opera Scenes (National Opera Studio), Red Handed (Robin Howard Dance Theatre), Love Is (Linbury Studio, LAMDA), Alice’s Adventures In The New World (Old Red Lion and UK tour), Rush Hour (Shunt Vaults), A Macbeth (Pleasance, Edinburgh), A Picture Of Alchemy (Etcetera). Forthcoming productions include: The Boss Of It All (Assembly Edinburgh), A Season In The Congo (Young Vic Parallel Production), and Happy New (Trafalgar Studios).

Joshua Carr trained at RADA in Lighting design and stage electrics.

Current & Forthcoming work includes: House of Cards at Kensington Palace (Coney) and The Miser, at Watermill Theatre.

His recent credits include: President and the Pakistani (Waterloo East), Mansfield Park (& UK Tour), Stage Fright (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds), One Hour Only (Old Vic New Voices), Mudlarks (High Tide Festival), Port Authority (Southwark Playhouse), Dick Whittington (Stafford Gatehouse), His Teeth (Only Connect), Love Of A Nightingale, Threepenny Opera, Antigone, A Clockwork Orange (Fourth Monkey), The Song Of Deborah (The Lowry), The Shape of Things (Soho Gallery), Cinderella (Young Actors Theatre), Breathing Corpses (Curving Road/Theatre Delicatessen); Billy Elliot (Young Actors Theatre); The Northerners (Finborough).

As Associate Lighting Designer: Roundabout Season: One Day When We Were Young, Lungs, The Sound Of Heavy Rain (Paines Plough & Sheffield Theatres), The Maddening Rain (Brits off Broadway).

As Assistant Lighting Designer: Playing The Games (Criterion), Xerxes (Royal Northern College of Music), Rose (Pleasance), Lake Boat & Prarie du Chien (Arcola), Lidless (Trafalgar Studios), Ditch (The Old Vic Tunnels).

Isobel Waller-Bridge has worked in Theatre, Film, TV & Radio


As Composer and Sound Designer:

If Only (Chichester Festival Theatre), Yellow Face (Park Theatre); Forever House (Theatre Royal Plymouth), Sleuth (The Watermill), Mydidae (Soho Theatre), Gruesome Playground Injuries (The Gate Theatre), Blink (Traverse Theatre/Soho theatre), The Girl with the Iron Claws (Arcola Theatre) and Head/Heart (Bristol Tobacco Factory).

As Musical Director:

The Boy I Love (V&A), A Woman Killed with Kindness (National Theatre) and A Christmas Carol (Manchester Library Theatre).

As Music Associate, and musician:

The Children’s Hour (Comedy Theatre), Rocket to the Moon (National Theatre) and Welcome To Thebes (National Theatre).


As Composer:

The Frozen Planet: Freeze Frames (BBC), Secret Symphony (Samsung/The Times), Gilead (Radio 3), Physics (Winner of LFC Best of Boroughs 2012 @ BFI) (short), Ellie (short), Disaffected (short), Beautiful Enough (short), Hometown (short) and  Meeting Mr Tiller (short).

As Orchestrator/Arranger:

The Imposter (Film 4), Life (BBC), Planet Earth Live! (BBC), The Bounty Hunter (Columbia Pictures), The Day of the Flowers (dir. John Roberts) and

Route Irish (Sixteen Films).

Annie Rowe, Casting Director, trained as an actress at the NYT and RADA before embarking on a career in casting in 2007.  In 2011 she gained Probationary Membership of the Casting Directors’ Guild of Great Britain.

TheatreThe Hotel Plays (Langham Hotel) Our Ajax (Southwark Playhouse) The Love Girl And The Innocent (Southwark Playhouse) Sex Cells (Riverside Studios) The School For Scandal (Park Theatre, 200) Economy Of Thought (Assembly Rooms), The School For Scandal (Park Theatre), A Thousand Miles Of History (Bussey Building) The Duke In Darkness (Tabard Theatre), The Seagull (Southwark Playhouse), The Hotel Plays (Grange Hotel), The Art Of Concealment (Jermyn Street), Fit and Proper People (Soho Theatre/ RSC), Mr Happiness, The Water Engine (Old Vic Tunnels)Wife To James Whelan (New Diorama), Love On the Dole (Finborough), Alice Through The Looking Glass, Around The World in 80 Days (The Egg at Theatre Royal Bath) and Public Property (Trafalgar Studios 2).

For Theatre503: Meat, Man In The Middle, The Swallowing Dark (with Liverpool Playhouse), Sold, The Consultant, The Biting Point, The Charming Man, Breed, Epic, Wild Horses, Porn – The Musical, This Much Is True, The Mountaintop, Manorhouse and The Tin Horizon.

Short film: Hello, Goodbye, Rest StopWaiting For Dawn, The Heart Of Dicken Partridge, By Hook, Trailing Dirt, Modo and Mahu.